Category Archives: Stuff I seem to care about?

Unemployment greens, whore thoughts, and pontificating on Hard Work

Here be some thoughts on the minutiae of life, fucks.

The truly unfortunate thing about being unemployed is that it is so terribly, achingly similar to being jobless. And yet, it lacks the arcadian feeling of joblessness. The grass is green, and you can read a book lying down on it, sure. But you feel like you’re in a time lapse video and winter is coming like a wave and its going to turn that green grass into yellow strings of ex-grass in no time.

For those of us unfortunate enough to not have enough money to last our lives comfortably, being jobless is something that happens mainly in college. After college or whatever form of higher education one chooses to pursue, joblessness comes in small spurts – you get a jobless weekend, you get a jobless evening, you may even get a jobless week for a vacation.

The only long term joblessness one can get post collegiate life is if one decides to be a kept person – you know, someone pays for your apartment, and buys your clothes and food out of the kindness of their private parts, wink wink, nudge nudge. And believe me, the thought has occurred to me. There are several ways of being a kept person. You could be married, you could be what is generally known as a “mistress”, or you could just be a very demanding person in a relationship. I personally think I would be suited for being a mistress, though I could settle for marriage if its logically necessary. Either way, there’s no shame in any of the three choices. As Sherman T. Potter once said, “There’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything. And the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way.”

I have also considered the fact that I will be a very good prostitute/ mistress so long as its one of those high class deals where I decide who and when and where and how much. You know, the pretty woman way. Think about it – I’m great at the rumpy pumpy, I demand nothing in terms of emotions as long as I’m not involved emotionally, I don’t go around expressing feelings like a loose cannon (most of the time), and I am just a delight to have around the house. At least I delight myself most of the time.

I have many skills
*Smirk

But all of this, of course, was in theory. To begin with, I’m in a new city. Well, an old city, but Bombay’s new for me. The point is, I’m not even sure where one would begin to prostitute oneself. Is one supposed to find a club frequented by men going through menopause? Or are there certain neighborhoods that cater to the unloved and lusty? Who knows?

Then of course, there’s the fact that I’m too lazy to actually go about acquainting myself with the in and outs (so to speak) of a whole new profession, especially if said profession involves a lot of standing around in uncomfortable clothes. Third, I kind of had things in the pipeline when I started out with the unemployment so there was really no need to seriously consider prostitution.

But I was unemployed for a whole month. It was simultaneously relaxing and petrifying.

It was relaxing not having to wake up at 8:30 in the morning. It was petrifying to wake up at 1 in the afternoon, realizing that that’s another day when you did nothing in life.

Group krumping
On the plus side, you get to do shit like this all day.

It was amazing not deciding what to wear in the morning, but when at 6 in the evening, you’ve to tuck your T-shirt between your underboob and your torso because you’re braless, its kind of a sobering thought that you spent the whole day hunched over your laptop and that at 25, your posture is not going to be good for the future of your breasts.

It’s fantastic to stay up late not caring about alarms and such, but night-time is the worst time when you have such gems of thoughts as “Holy crap, you’re never going to find a job. You’d better arrange to die soon for the burden you are on the earth.” Of course, when those thoughts occur to you, its good to write them down for posterity, and then move on to the next funny show or movie you have with you.

But there is some beauty in the joblessness of unemployment. You can meet your friends when you want. You can read whenever you want. You can be available for emergencies. You get to clean your house more often. And more to the point of where I’m going, being unemployed really makes you think about working hard. And hold on to your capitalist horses, because this is not going to be one of those pieces on the limitless ecstasy of a hard day’s work, if there be such a thing.

I moved to Bombay five months ago, and people here love working hard. They also love talking about working hard. Especially if you mention that you have no interest in appearing to be available for work at 6 in the morning just to impress someone, you will immediately get told by your mid-level superior that he/she once appeared available at 5.

Its basically the work equivalent of you telling someone your dog died, and having them tell you that that’s nothing compared to their horse dying the week before.

Balloon Finger

How the hell is your miserable life and pathetic choices supposed to encourage me to make the same pathetic choices you did? Believe me, it does not. Every time I see a 28 year old who looks closer to 40 than 30, I shudder and hope I have the temerity to quit before I join the ranks of the zombie work force.

I love this city. It’s charming, has some beautifully well-worn buildings, leaves you alone when you want to be alone, and in the right places, is full of people who are often fun to hang out with. When it comes to work culture, however, Bombay romanticizes exhaustion to the point of … exhaustion.

Being passionate about one’s work is a privilege. Most people in the world don’t get to pick work that they’re passionate about. Most people do the work that needs doing, from being bankers and accountants to garbagemen and housewives. For those of us who have the privilege of having an education that teaches us to think beyond the obvious, and the even greater privilege of earning a living outside of the obvious, perhaps there is something to working hard.

But even so, I place more premium on being marginally healthy, getting to read a certain amount of books and watch a certain number of shows and movies, and being able to meet people I give a turd about. I suppose I’m just not an ambitious person. As long as I like what I’m doing, I see no need to torture myself with how big I want to be while doing it. And I certainly don’t understand institutions that seem to think that only those who want to be on top should be anywhere. The world depends on people in the middle. Why is a normal life, lacking in fame and fortune and making a name for yourself, such a terrible thing?

Of course, these are the thoughts that run through my head when I’m unemployed. Starting December, I am employed, and as such I suspect I will have more interesting things to think about, like pleasing my superiors beyond question (is someone from the new work place going to read this?), or what to wear in the mornings or panicking about how I’m going to balance working with thinking about a blog topic every week.

Yes, the weekly schedule is back on, I promise with a rising sense of dread. I shall have to post something every week on penalty of telling a terrible/ embarrassing secret, and believe me, over the year and a half of my absence, I have amassed a few. As per usual, I suspect the telling of embarrassing secrets, or thinking about them, will fuel posts where I have nothing to say. Such has been life, and such it will be, no doubt.

I don't care typing
Le Writing process

As for why I have been absent, I choose to keep that information to myself for the time being. Its got a lot to do with feeling blue, and possibly black, and its terribly boring and self-indulgent for me to talk about it, so I shan’t. Also, believe you me, its been done to death.

Overall, I’m aiming for the coming posts to be better than this one. This one, I would give about a 4 out of 10. I’m rusty, but I have to start somewhere. Whatever’s next will hopefully be funnier and more relevant. Or you know, I have reached the height of my potential and should give up on life.

We’ll see.

Ta, loves.

Men are Victimized! and How to make your Blog title Provocative

I recently watched a couple of good awful movies, which is my way of saying they are good movies but make you want to nuke the world in order to contain and purge all sadness and the possibility of sadness from said world. Not that its relevant, but this genre of movies don’t strictly come into the other genre which is good awful fine-I believe-there-is-some-good-in-the-world-I-guess-I-don’t-need-to-google-search-“how-to-build-a-nuke-in-your-backyard”-just-yet.

Examples of the latter type of movies – Schindler’s List (or Life is Beautiful. You get the pattern – basically anything involving an exorbitant number of dead bodies piled together like so much candy), Mary and Max, Up (to a certain extent). If anybody is interested, there is a certain amount of sociology, philosophy and psychology based film theory critically looking at the need for a different type of aestheticization of the world post Holocaust. Look it up if you want – Kracauer, maybe Bazin, Susan Sontag to a certain extent I think. These recommendations are pure generalizations. Don’t go quoting me on this.

Getting back on point, I saw good awful movies – Soldier’s Girl and Stuart: A Life Backwards. Soldier’s Girl is a movie about a U.S. Army soldier who falls in love with a stripper while he is training, and the ramifications of their love affair. This is a picture of the (extremely hot) girl –

Her name is Calpernia.
Her name is Calpernia.

This is a picture of the actor who plays the girl

A.K.A Thranduil from The Hobbit and Ned the Pie maker from Pushing Daisies. BAM!

So yeah, she’s a transgender woman and the movie basically looks at how ineffective the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy was with regards protecting the privacy or safety of the soldiers in the U.S. Army. Maybe it is my born-out-of-cruel-experience slight misandry speaking, or my general dislike of army ethics and social conditioning, but by the end I really wanted to shoot almost every single man (by which I mean self identified man) in that movie (with some exceptions). Either for being phenomenally huge dicks sculpted out of rotten elephant shit, or for staying silent and watching (for the most part) other men be elephant shit based oversized dicks.

Next, there was Stuart: A Life Backwards which has two main attractions for the superficial viewer (a tag I hope to never outlive). This guy

You have my permission to fuck me till I die.

And this guy

Oh, Benedict.

However, the movie starts and even though you have read up so you know its going to be full of awfulness, it proceeds to get awfuller and awfuller, till you want nothing more than access to some Uranium and Plutonium and bunch of disenchanted nuclear scientists to do the calculations so we can summarily put an end to misery.

How very Ayn Rand of me.

I never thought I would ever in my life ever say or write a sentence even similar to that.

Stuart is about an alcoholic heroin-addicted homeless man named Stuart whose story is told backwards – from adulthood to childhood. And as much as we would all like to think that means you get to see something marginally nice towards the end, we all know children and humans too well. Not only does he get younger, the shitty things in his life and the psychological scars they leave get steadily worse as he gets younger. And because he is a child, we feel way worse for the way worse things happening around him.

Both of these movies are based on real life people and events, by the way.

The point is, after having watched these two movies not back-to-back but over the course of 48 hours, I felt really bad for men. Way less than how bad I felt for practically all women including me, but quite bad. Because while I wanted to kill all men, one of the most potent parts of watching men ill-treat other men is that – and I know this is going to sound awful before and possibly even after I explain fully – I can view it more objectively than when men ill-treat women in movies. By which I mean that as soon as something bad happens to a woman in a movie, especially at the hands of a man, I feel a blinding anger and sadness that feels like its coming out of my pores. Sometimes I have goosebumps with this blinding rage and anguish that makes the world a little… scratched. It feels as though someone is scratching at the walls of my world with no intention of quitting till everything I love crumbles under the incessant and determined picking of dirty, unwashed, unclipped fingernails. Which basically means I have no feeling whatsoever left over, no thought of the man in question except that he must die. And painfully.

So, not very objective. This feeling doesn’t come to me when I watch men ill-treat other men. Which may not be a good thing but I don’t think my mind handle that much sensitivity, so it is what it is.

So when I finished watching Stuart and then a day later finished watching Soldier’s Girl, I was left thinking about a conversation I had with a bunch of guyfriends about feminism. Somewhere in the middle of that hours long on and off conversation on sexual politics, comedy and normalizing, I mentioned that I often think feminism concentrates too much on women – teach girls how to be confident, teach them to defend themselves, to know when to go to the police, to want to have careers, to be what they want….

That’s great and I’m certainly not saying we should be teaching men how to defend themselves. I’m saying a big part of the world is, unfortunately or fortunately, male. And if we are willing to concede that some women may be socialized into acting in ways that are detrimental to womenkind and mankind alike in the long run, why can we not talk about the fact that there are men, many men who are socialized into a mind-set which we may find alienating, misogynistic, gender-insensitive, and unacceptable. I’m not saying we should all sit and have a chat with rapists and domestic abusers. However, shouldn’t it be part of the conversation – that change in the treatment and position of women is not a cause for women alone?

Take this scarring TED talk for instance –

Shouldn’t we as feminists be actively engaging with the fact that a lot of sexism, hetero-normative gendered behavior, as well as perceptions of stronger and weaker sex and gender are taught at a very early age to tiny boys who are given no mechanism to challenge this with? It’s not just about how they treat women, but about how they treat each other.

I’m all for teaching kids to be badasses, to fight and fight and struggle to get what they want, but teaching that is not exclusive to teaching young boys to not be kid-sized turds of human beings. I’m fairly sure its possible to be a go-getter and be a not-asshole at the same time. For fuck’s sake, Emily Bronte talked about this in fucking 1848 in The Tenant at Wildfell Hall, in which Helen Graham asks why she should not protect her boy from learning and internalizing the vagrancies and general male dickishness of the world, when she would definitely do so if she had had a daughter.

I think a serious change in perspective and goals need to happen, at least for every-day feminists or people-who-think-women-are-human-people-with-just-as-much-natural-right-to-agency-and-decision-making-capabilities-as-men if you don’t like using the word “feminist” to describe yourself. Let’s start by having proper sex education for boys. Perhaps campaigns to educate otherwise idiotic parents (I reserve the right to be judgmental about parents who decide to bring new people into the world without intending to take care of them in any and all ways) about what “naughty” “nathkhat” “spirited” “that word that Uncle Vernon used to describe Dudley” “chootiya” boys grow up to become – even bigger chootiyas who will no doubt fall behind in a fast changing world if not end up being eve-teasers and rapists.

Perhaps have school talks to boys about seriously being kinder to each other – nothing wrong with crying, nothing wrong with “being a girl”, nothing wrong with wanting an emotional connection, nothing wrong with not having sex, nothing wrong with having consensual sex, and nothing wrong with being friends with or liking girls. Tell them it’s a sin to like boys though, because they have cooties. Or when you have guyfriends or male acquaintances who don’t seem to get what you’re saying about some gender problem, to engage and not immediately label them a misogynist and give up. Of course after you engage with them, if they seem like a misogynist, feel free to cut off their balls. They should certainly not be having or raising children.

You get the gist – we really need to civilize the not-noble savages that men are currently. Maybe a few feministy decades down the line, they can be the Pocahontas to our John Smith, except their Pocahontas wouldn’t have anything to teach our John Smith. Scratch that analogy actually. Can’t make misogynist joke now. Can’t be racist now. Too soon. Another time, perhaps.

Ok bye.

– Billy

P.S. – This was drafted and saved before 12. The only reason its delayed is because of internet connection and image loading problems. So no embarrassing fact revelation business. Feck off now. Intentional spelling.

Children’s movies and Boys and Girls and Curly haired men who know how to kiss

Well, hello. This is going to be another one of those posts. You know the ones – where I talk about movies and then I talk a little about penises. And today, I’ll be talking about Disney movies. And if you’re like me and you take Dan Brown’s literature as gospel, the two subjects go exceedingly well together. Kind of like Hot Dog and mayonnaise.

Anyway, getting to the point, I finished reading The Beautiful and Damned recently. For those of you who are uncouth, uneducated, unworthy plebeians, that’s a book written by Scott F. Fitzgerald, who also wrote The Great Gatsby and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Although surely, none of you uneducated and so on people would deign to read my illustrious, erudite, culturally high-minded blog where I talk about penises, right? Go away now. Shoo. Chop Chop.

Like he says. Shoo, morons.
Like the tall guy says. Shoo, morons.

 

Anyway, it got me thinking about Disney. Mostly because I recently watched Tangled for the nth time and then watched Frozen. Which got me thinking about Brave. We all know where this is going now, don’t we? Hairstyles. Nope.

Anyway, The Beautiful and Damned is a story about two young people who fall in love and get married, and how their privilege damns them to a life of knowing their lack and their unhappiness. Because if they weren’t privileged, spoilt, without any responsibilities or vocation and so full of expectations about what life would be for them, they may not perhaps have been subject to the peculiar kind of unhappiness they got – the kind where the seemingly reasonable expectations of young people remain unsatisfied, and because those expectations meant so much, their hearts were made irreparably broken – by each other and by themselves.

One of the early reviews of the book I read talked about how the character of Gloria Gilbert is an “original”. The beautiful and callous Gloria is driven only by one thing – to enjoy herself. And she is the kind of character that knows that her life will be presented to her on a platter as long as she is beautiful. Her moments of solitude, her likes and dislikes, her ability to enchant with the most inane of subjects simply because of her manner, her open disdain for the people she wishes to despise, is all made hers because of the charm her beauty provides. As you may imagine, she is not a particularly likeable character, but not more so than Anthony Patch, her husband. He is a whole other collection of insecurities and neuroses that try to constantly hide behind the skirts of Gloria’s beauty and popularity.

About five years ago, I would have hated reading this book. Not only are the characters so useless, they have very few redeeming qualities and Fitzgerald doesn’t really try to be particularly kind to them (probably because he was quite sure everything would end badly – quite like it did for him and his Gloria-esque wife Zelda). Who ever thought jobless, self aware socialites during prohibition married to supposedly egoistic writers would end up in a mental institution. Such is life.

Now, as much as its difficult to read at times, its worth knowing all the pitfalls your previously magical marriage will succumb to if you don’t have some temerity, some *incomprehensible French phrase meaning confidence*, some Courage of your convictions. And some general lack of selfishness. Another reason to read/ enjoy – well, it’s Fitzgerald. I have a snoot not very well hidden in my not very deep depths.

ME: Sex joke.

me:

 

Though I admit there is a certain awfulness about characters like Gloria. Or for that matter (to bring this closer home for those who don’t give two micropenises about some obscure character from some book) characters like Betty Draper from Mad Men. They seem colorless and one dimensional and utterly childish when we see them. They seem to have finished with the business of life and striving once they get married. And seeing that image is not something a normal woman enjoys – because for most of us, it is our worst nightmare to become relegated to a corner of life after we find people we want to spend all of it with.

But at the same time, I hate it when en masse people hate on poor Betty Draper. Because she, like Gloria, is not simply a figment of someone’s imagination but a representation of what life meant to a lot of women at some point of time. And as much as we can find faults in them, it is equally important to remember how much they are a product of their times. Gender is a construct certainly, but so is every aspect of life inspired by and derived from gender. Betty Draper existed with her childishness and her marital woes, and she existed because someone taught her from a fairly early age about the way things are supposed to be. And then she learned from friends about the kind of husband one should have, and the kind of life that would be ideal, and the kind of children one should raise. And her friends probably knew because of her and their parents, and then, from Disney movies. Where the all suffering, cursed, single girl is taken away from her woeful life by the ever so democratic (democratic in that they’re poor, not in that they are less than the normal standard of beauty) love of their rich, princely, handsome future husbands.

I personally did not grow up on Disney movies. Not because my parents were incredibly aware feminists, but because we never had a lot of TV experience, but I had read all the original fairy tales as a child. My father was against Barbies though this had a lot more to do with his communist anti-American ideas rather than feminist ones. By the time my sister and I had demanded Barbies (like all our friends had) for long enough to actually get one each, we were a little below ten and eight I think. I spent a couple of solid childhood years making my Barbie (Barbies in the plural once my sister dropped hers) fall in love with and then become girlfriends with imaginary Ken. They would go to college or have jobs and houses (that were largely imagined), but the plot of their lives generally involved men (Ken). And that’s not all. Imaginary Ken was a dick (albeit without an actual dick) who practically harassed Barbie in the name of romance before she fell for his rakish charms. I’m not entirely sure where I picked up that rhetoric from except for subversively problematic and sexual Bollywood romances. For a long time, I like many pre-pubescent and pubescent girls assumed that guys being dicks was a manifestation of affection, attraction and unconditional respect for us as human beings. Now of course I know that most guys are dicks to some girls because they have small penises which they feel will be compensated if they are huge cocks to us. Tis a scientifically verifiable truth.

Like this random asshole spreading his legs around like he’s evolution’s endgame. Pffft.

 

So if I hadn’t been taught from the very beginning that I should and could earn and live for myself, perhaps I would have been happy being blissfully ignorant as my handsome husband with the stolen identity cheated on me with an inordinate number of women. Or I may have spent my life being woefully sad as I waited for my husband to get his inheritance (Gloria).

When I went to law school/ college, I was introduced to some other Disney movies – Mulan and The Frog Princess. And I did not need the inspiration at the time but it was good to know Disney made movies where the girls had more to do than get cursed and passively wait around till some handsome chappie comes along and molests them as they sleep. This got even better when I saw Penelope which is a little known film with Cristina Ricci playing the titular character who is cursed by a witch to be born with a pig snout (and little piggy ears) till one of her own accepts her. So her parents keep her away from the rest of the world and try and make her the most “accomplished” young lady, so that eventually some blue blooded rich man would eventually agree to marry her for a phenomenal dowry. Towards the end of the movie, she is about to be married to said rich dude (who is disgusted by her but has to marry her because of some publicity reasons that are too complicated to explain here) when she runs away from the altar. Her mother follows her, begging her to go back so that she can become a “whole new you”. To which Penelope replies that she doesn’t want to be a whole new version and that likes herself the way she is, breaking the curse.

This was before Tangled or Frozen, and was such a beautiful surprise. And somewhere in the movie, Penelope runs away from home and spends a few weeks discovering herself and making friends on the sly. The first thing we see her do when she leaves her parents’ house after breaking the curse is get the job she wanted – as a school teacher teaching biology, largely horticulture and plant biology. Later she makes up with the guy she likes, but while that is certainly the most romantic bit of the movie, it is not the most important part, as elucidated by its conclusion. It’s about finding your strength and own way, overcoming insecurities and fears, finding ways to be happy in spite of or because of them.

Then there was Tangled where both Rapunzel and the hot-as-motherfucking-bananas Flynn Rider save each other time and time again. Not one of them is more responsible for the other. Pixar’s Brave is a story primarily about a mother and daughter who have different opinions of what life and duty should mean. Her mother tells her it is her duty to get married to one of the haggardly princes from neighboring clans, and Merida doesn’t want to get married. The story is about how she ends up getting her lesbian way without having all the super awesome men fight between themselves over her.

And recently I watched Frozen, admittedly because I initially thought that was the movie with the cute animated guy who looks like a white haired pixie (Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians, which is what I’ll be watching next). But I was not disappointed despite the palpable lack of said cute animated boy. Frozen is about two sisters who have to deal with the fact that one of them, Elsa, is a raging Ice Queen who accidentally turns her kingdom (yes, they’re royalty) into an freezing hell-ice-scape. Her sister Anna, having missed her older sibling because of the latter’s isolation while trying to control this admittedly problematic power follows her to try and convince her to come back and make things hot again.

Done and ...
Done and …
Done. Dayyym gurrll.
…Done. Dayyym gurrll.

 

Anna was the one who made her sister lose control of her powers by arguing with her when Elsa refused to give Anna permission to marry a guy she knew for less than a day.

What is amazing about this movie is not just that it is primarily about the two sisters and how they end up helping each other, but the men in it. The man Anna wants to marry turns out, after spending more than half the movie seeming rather perfect, to be only marrying Anna to gain power of the throne. Anna stops him from murdering her sister towards the end. Another significant character is that of the Duke of Weselton who tries to use the unfortunate forever-damned-to-winter state of the kingdom to change trade agreements to his country’s benefits. Both of these men are stopped by the sisters working together. On the other hand, Kristoff and Olaf, both of whom help and support and fight alongside the women to get things done receive just rewards not just in terms of “getting the girl” but in having their own independent aspirations fulfilled.

As Colin Stokes points out in this awesome video, children’s movies need to address concerns and quests for both boys and girls, with proper, characteristic role models for both boys and girls. He speaks to the fact that movies with primary male characters tend to go about their quests by themselves, or in each other’s company, but with very little involvement with girls. And in the same way, very rarely do Disney movies provide respectful, supportive male characters who succeed because of their ability to work with each other and with strong, independent women characters. In Tangled, Penelope, Brave and Frozen, not only do the women work (often with each other) to make their own lives and/ or their kingdoms a better place, but the men who join their “team” as Stokes puts it, end up having a better deal as well.

I don’t really need inspiration from Disney movies anymore, but representation is incredibly important. And I’m glad that at least for a certain socio economic section of the population, not only are Disney movies more accessible, but that they are likely to inspire Barbie to take college seriously, get a Ph.D., have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, and then work to improve herself or the world and do any number of things to make herself and other people happy.

Barbie shouldn’t have to live a complacent, sedentary life. That seven foot tall, blonde, double-breasted Amazon she male deserves more in life than just dong-less Ken.

Regards,

– Billy

P.S. – On a side note I have avoided mentioning the show I have been obsessing over recently out of respect for the topic at hand. Can you guess what it is? Can you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is kissing. I can do the hair thing. I have to get to work on perfecting the rest.
This is kissing. I can do the hair thing. I have to get to work on perfecting the rest.
He did it again!! With the neck and the scarf!!

 

Ok. Yeah. Sherlock. Yup.

– Billy

Love Stories, Homosexuality and Crime

Warning – wee bit muddled, with all the good intentions and very little articulation.

The first time I was introduced to the idea of being gay – I don’t remember that. I do know that I thought it was a bit “wrong” somehow because that was the way I was told about it. I never really thought about it much. Whoever told me definitely did not make much of an impression, even about the concept. The next time I came into contact with the idea was Bend it Like Beckham, a 2002 movie with Keira Knightley, and an Indian girl who likes to play football the way Billy Elliot liked to dance. Anyway, for those who remember the film, Keira Knightley’s mother starts believing that her daughter is a lesbian (the blame is placed primarily on the indiscriminate playing of football, which is understandable. Let’s not pretend that football doesn’t make you a little homosexual, right?) and finally confronts her about it. Keira’s like “no woman, you fucking cuckoo?” (that was the basic gist)

And then she said the words that changed everything for me. She said “And so what if I were a lesbian? What’s wrong with that?” (or something like that. You must know by now, no actual research goes into these posts)

I couldn’t think of a reply to Keira Knightley’s angry, frustrated question. I already knew about sex and at the time it was simultaneously appealing, tempting, scary and disgusting. Lesbian or gay sex was about the same combination in the same proportions. Suddenly, gays and lesbians were… well, a novelty. Something that wasn’t bad, but I had personally never encountered. By the time I familiarized myself with Will and Grace, gay people had become a rare gift that I had yet to encounter. Not a very progressive viewpoint, certainly, but I was learning.

That phase was lost by the time I was seventeen, which was the first time someone came out to me. Well, sort of. A new friend told me he had slept with guys as well as girls.

“Is that a joke?”

“No.”

And maybe I’ve imagined it like this ever since, but I think he was waiting, proper waiting, actually waiting, for my response. Because admit it or not, I think knowing that a potential friend can deal with unexpected news, would actually accept you, is important.

“So, what exactly are you?”

He said that he was mostly just straight. Which is how I would love to describe myself if I ever dabbled in the lesbotic arts, which I currently haven’t done.

The next intervention that television and film made on my sexuality came a bit later. When I was nineteen (or twenty) I had an unhealthy obsession with James Spader. It started, naturally, with Boston Legal and manifested itself in familiarizing myself with all of his filmography, everything he had been in, procuring the ones that seemed enjoyable, taking snapshots of his beautiful young face from the movies, fantasizing about meeting Alan Shore in an abandoned corporate building’s conference room… it was a lark.

In the process I saw stuff like Sex, Lies and Videotape, Mannequin, Pretty in Pink, Bad Influence…. I was in the throes of a wasted quarter life in Law School and nothing was going to stop my unhealthy obsession with the man who at the time was in his early fifties (I think).

Recently however, I became familiar with another show that Spader is doing which sent me on a minor Spader relapse (exacerbated by the fact that I’m too sick to do anything but TV and internet). It’s called The Blacklist, and its quite an ok show. Its only ten episodes in so I cant really say much, except that I will watch it as long as its on simply to watch James Spader make being a witty criminal look SO good. And sound SO good. Take a listen. If you don’t like the way he looks, just shut your eyes and listen.

Anyway, this compelled me to look into James Spader again. Apparently he’s going to be in the next Avengers movie so that’s something to look forward to. Then I watched White Palace again. It’s a 1990 movie with Susan Sarandon. There’s sex, there’s swearing, there’s jews…. every pleasure you want out of life.

As I watched the film just a few days ago, I started getting a little déjà vu. Not because I had seen it three years ago, but because …. well. I realized Susan Sarandon’s sexual nature was a bit familiar to me. It wasn’t too long before I realized that my sexual personality was probably subconsciously based on hers in the movie. I already had a natural affinity, no doubt, but at the time I first watched it, I wasn’t sexually active. Now that that has changed – I laugh at the same stuff, I … well, lets not get into details. But yes, things are a bit familiar.

I had always assumed that movies have a lot of influence on the people watching it. In my case, I had rather presumptuously assumed the influence was largely intellectual. You know, I’d get interested in scientific, social, philosophical, technical… other random aspects of the movie concerned. It was all very British and pince-nez and nearly hipster. But that’s not it at all. My very behavior, my likes and dislikes, what I have experienced, what I have been brave enough to try. All of it has depended so much on the movies and shows I watch – I’m open to sexual experiences, I have no problems or questions with homosexuality, I occasionally like to get a little rough and more than occasionally like to be gotten rough on, I have a very progressive and often problematic attitude towards free speech, I find powerful douchebags hot, and so on an so forth.

You have to ask yourself – who would you be if popular culture hadn’t snuck in its lessons through your skull? Who would you be without Game of Thrones introducing you to the idea of complicated, amazing, power hungry women who have and use their sexuality whenever they want or need to? Who would you be if Bend it Like Beckham had never had that one line? Who would you be if Indian networks decided to not show Will and Grace on television? Who would you be if you had never seen Boston Legal?

I remember watching Secretary for the first time (another James Spader movie. I think that man has been a huge part of my sexual awakening without either of us ever knowing. I’m sure he’ll be pleased to know it when he finds out). Suddenly, BDSM made so much sense… Before that I had assumed BDSM involved people who just had no self respect. The beautiful thing about that movie was that it never directly addresses feminism or the arguments for and against BDSM… but you know it has, sneakily, carefully, and very beautifully. There is one moment, when Lee is sitting on the chair and refuses to move because her boss/ impending lover told her not to. People try to dissuade her, bring her food, support her… Her father, a recovering alcoholic reads a passage from the Bible – “You are the child of god’s holy gift of life. You come from me, but you are not me. Your soul and your body are your own, and yours to do with as you wish.” And your mind slowly gets blown.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India did something pretty awful – it overturned the Delhi High Court’s judgment (from 2009) that decriminalized homosexuality, “unnatural sex”. I can’t imagine what this means for the thousands upon thousands of people who struggle with themselves on a daily basis. What it means for me is that a lot of my friends, people whom I love and care about, even have to think for a minute about whether their country’s law allows them to love whomever and however they want to. In fact, considering the fact that the Supreme Court seems to have an utterly Victorian, unbelievably prudish definition of “unnatural sex” (anything that is not “penis into vagina”) I myself am a criminal on several counts.

I have never been more saddened by anything the Supreme Court did in my lifetime. Because its one thing when they kowtow to power every day, when they show blatant disregard for the kind of desperation that has brought everyday individuals to the highest court in the land, when they are unceasingly misogynistic. Its disheartening when they actively decide they want to continue the unfair and frankly, unsavory system that exists currently.

People, especially adults who never went to law school often ask me if I don’t want to make a difference. If I did, why did I leave the legal profession? The truth is I realized I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, and I don’t have the stomach for it. I am slightly sociopathic, very rude, and quite disarmingly morbid at times, but that doesn’t make it easy for me to deal with the courts, and its multitudes of terribleness.

On the other hand, there was films, and TV, and the natural high of making people laugh, and winning points by making jokes – this, I understand. This I can deal with. And this, I know, from my own personal experience, changes things in the most effective way possible – underhandedly and subtly. Watching Secretary was a revelation because I realized the truth of pop culture being a normalizing agent – suddenly, I didn’t care why people chose (if they did choose at all) to be dominants or submissives in bed as long as they were safe and emotionally and mentally satisfied.

This whole normalizing this is certainly used by largely male dominated film industries to normalize all kinds of crap, from rape culture to stalking, to unabashed machismo based, purposeless violence. On the other hand, there’s nothing better than a good old fashioned love story – a simple one, with no AIDS or excessive amounts of political and/or social discussions about homosexuality – to suddenly make you not care, as long as people have the temerity to fall in love, to want people and the courage to do something about it (the way I, cold and heartless as I am, would never have).

I hate adults sometimes, and many times, I want them to not be in control. I want a world where their opinions about what is “proper” doesn’t stop me from doing what I want – whether it is kissing girls, or choking on a penis. I have hopes for the entertainment world, and I know how to navigate it. I have hopes because if aspiring writers and directors and actors I meet are anything to go by, sooner or later people my age, with positive and compassionate attitudes about feminism, about rape culture, about homosexuality are going to be flooding the entertainment industry. And soon enough, people are going to watch. And maybe in a decade’s time, we wont be “criminals” for things we do in bed with a consenting partner.

God, I can’t think of a good ending for this post. Just… fuck it.

– Billy

Pop Culture and Man World

I’m a tumblr person. For those who don’t know what that means, I could surpass this week’s quota for quoting (hehe. Clever.) Louis Armstrong and say “If you have to ask, you’ll never know.” Instead, I will try and explain, because that is just how I roll. Yo.

Tumblr primarily consists of nerdy obsession. Let me clarify – by nerdy obsession I mean a singular and unimpeached devotion towards certain subjects, people, things, shows, books, whatever floats your bong. So this includes sites devoted to pictures of people engaged in passionate coitus (though with tumblr these pictures have a tendency to be more graphic, HD, well lit, well shot and unprecedentedly enjoyable) to gifs of one-liners from the Ian McKellan show Vicious to gifs of people having sex to links and diagrams about science and feminism. You can like anything, you can explain your dislike for anything in an articulate manner, and practically anything goes. The only rule is that your face should automatically crumple up and your genitalia should tense up every time Benedict Cumberbatch appears on your dash, no matter what your gender or sexual orientation. And Benedict Cumberbatch will appear on your dash every two to three posts. I’m pretty sure there’s a clause against Benedict Cumberbatch bashing in the tumblr terms of agreement.

And tumblr has sort of helped me diagnose a certain… thing I have. I haven’t considered myself an introvert since I came out as a fully functional person in 10th grade. I’m not shy or rude or dismissive of people I meet. I suspect that despite my very deep and hidden discomfort in social groups I’m not familiar with, I often either leave no impression or leave a good one. However, as people get to know me more, it becomes pretty clear that I’m not entirely… nice.

I can socialize with people well enough, for a few hours. After that, I feel the need to scratch my face, wash it, chew my tongue incessantly and finally make up an excuse to leave. According to tumblr, this is a symptom of being an introvert. This, when combined with my … lack of feelings can be a bit troublesome, not really for other people, but for me.

For instance, I am often confounded and intensely uncomfortable when people seem to behave in irrational and weirdly emotional ways. Especially if they behave like that over people they just met. I don’t understand how people in my new college are able to have secrets and fights and intense discussions. How can they possibly fight over stupid things with people they just met a few month ago? The only people I fight with, or have painful discussions with, or sexually charged intense conversations with, are those I have known for at least a year. So I am confounded. Which is alright – that brings me to about Abed level of confusion.

However, when this confoundedness interacts with the previously mentioned need to be rid of human company after a few solid hours of getting-to-know-you camaraderie, it inevitable results in Evil Abed, and Sherlock.

Evil Abed in Action

Sherlock Holmes was and still remains a huge part of who I have come to accept myself as. I had read every single piece of Sherlock Homes literature before I was 14. To put it in real cheesy terms, it opened up a world to me. See, I had by that time learnt to disregard feelings unless they were productive or at the least not unproductive. If feelings got in the way of anything else in my life, including my peace of mind, I didn’t pay attention to them. This is a not oft spoken of fact about human affection – if you don’t water it, it eventually withers and dies, especially if the feelings are regarding someone who’s not a big part of your life. If they are a big part of your life, the feelings can hang around in the background, maybe even manifest itself at times, but eventually die out as well. Human feelings are beautiful but fickle. They are the opposite of cacti.

When I read Sherlock at thirteen, you can imagine my… exhilaration at knowing that there were others like me. That there are people who are stable and functional and able to have lives and friends and love without going bonkers about every crush, every emotion and every single thing that has no value in practical terms. I’m not saying I have never been a teenage girl, or never over-reacted to anything, even past eighteen. I have. But only when it seemed lie there was a logical reason for doing so.

The first time I perceived proper friendship for unemotional people was with Sherlock and Watson. I remember the Adventure of the Three Garridebs for this. Watson got shot in it and the Sherlock Holmes did this.

‘You’re not hurt, Watson? For god’s sake tell me you’re not hurt!’

It was worth a wound— it was with many wounds— to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation… His face set like flint as he glared at our prisoner, who was sitting up with a dazed face.

‘By the Lord it is well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive.’

While a lot of people love this sort of stuff on television because it’s amusing and interesting to see a character behave out of character (which is understandable – it is amusing), I find it beautiful because I always think of it as very much in character. I like knowing that there are others like me, who don’t like telling people about our feelings till it matters. That it’s possible to be intimate with someone at times without losing our whole personality. I would hate to be addressed as “sensitive” or “hyper-emotional” or “a changed, more open person” just because I nearly cried once in the metro when an old friend returned my long and rambling letter with his own long and rambling letter. Ok fine, that was today. But the point is, I didn’t suddenly become less myself just because I felt something and admitted it. I refuse to be less badass just because I may in the future, fall completely head over heels in love with someone.

And I love geekdom and tumblr for this – that I can get excited about minute details in stories and movies and it would be accepted and appreciated. However, I have also noticed that geekdom doesn’t seem to be very comfortable with girls, even if we have the same neuroses and social problems and confusions as your favorite characters. And this is where we segues uncomfortably into Deep Space Fandom Feminism (you’ll get the joke or you won’t, shitheads) area.

I have started to get the feeling that guys spend way too much time with each other. I remember a term we used for groups of people who seemed to become their worst selves the more time they spent with each other – toxic groups.

I have nothing against men having sleepovers and talking about sports and touching each others muscles, drinking their ales, plundering tropic isles or whatever they do when they’re alone with each other. I do however have a problem with men who get so used to hanging out with just men that they forget that the world of women is not a separate one. That sometimes, women exist inside the little cocoon world you created for yourself, and not in another dimension which you can travel to via portal every time you need a mother’s hug or a vagina to do things with.

One of my friends had a theory once that men who live together with other men at a young age tend to be misogynistic at some level. And that especially in boy’s hostels, the rhetoric about women, including individual women they are acquainted with, is often restricted to a sexual sphere with very few exceptions. This means that there is automatically a struggle between what you think of as the rest of your life, and your life when it comes to girlfriends, friends who are girls, etc.

Consequently, as per rhetoric, Spock being friends (or more) with Kirk (who by the way is as emotionally expressive and demanding and utterly disregarding of regulations and logic as any stereotypical woman) is beautiful and amazing and a testament to human-vulcan attachment; while Spock being in love with Uhura, a woman (who on the other hand is actually very emotionally reticent, and is openly demonstrative on very few occasions, and only when it’s something that matters), is termed as improbable, unbelievable and entirely out of character. How is it that male friendship is somehow seen as the norm that is beautiful, while a healthy relationship involving a woman is somehow less believable for the current generation of nerds? And don’t even get me started on the slash fiction between the two. I have nothing against a widespread acceptance of homosexuality, but not to the exclusion of women.

One of the reasons I seriously loved A Scandal in Belgravia in Sherlock was for this reason. Yes, I really think they could have developed Adler’s character a lot more. And yes, that whole Sherlocked bit seemed way too cheesy (not because she was a woman, but because she was a person), but at no point is there a diminishing of the dynamics between her and Sherlock just because she is a woman. What I find particularly interesting and beautiful is that while Sherlock remains the eternal asexual in many ways (though there are of course doubts about that), his regard for her, as well as his willingness to go out of his way to help her is in no way diminished because she’s a woman and a possible love interest. He does the same things for her as he would do for John. Arguably, not enough time is given to her personality in order for the dynamic between the two to grow on us the way Sherlock and John’s has, but unfortunately the show is about Sherlock and Watson. Every other character cannot really be given as much time as those two (same goes for Mycroft and Lestrade).

But here’s the problem, for every Sherlock and Sheldon and Spock making their tentative steps into the social world, which for them is not divided into that of men and women; there are a bunch of friends and TV shows and video games and everyday language and rhetoric that excludes women from the presence of men categorically and purposely. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if and when Sherlock and Spock and any number of geeky, smart, iconic characters seem to have an intense romantic connection or even a primary friendship with a female character, it is seen as betrayal, not by the characters, but by the writers – how could the writers “sell out” and have our awesome male character who is happy without any annoying nagging girlfriend suddenly feel attached to a girl? I would in fact further argue that this is largely based on a misplaced, and rather ignorant sense of victimization about the way the world and women treats them.

I’m tempted to say it’s probably also got something to do with anger – Spock or Sherlock or Sheldon or The Doctor was supposed to be my single bro friends. How did he get a girl? Well, honey, he got a girl because he wasn’t a dick to her and he acted like she was a person and not just something to come back to at the end of a day.

There is nothing I hate more than when people (I say people because both men and women do this) try to equate every slight problem that a guy has to go through to the systemic and ingrained prejudice, harassment and violence that women go through. It is inevitably a way to nip any mildly feminist thought at the bud. “Yes, I may be following you around and harassing you online and at work, but you don’t have to be such a bitch to me and friendzone me. You’re probably doing it cause you’re superficial and don’t think I’m handsome and you don’t understand true love.”

This was actually addressed in a movie which I have no particular feelings for – The Social Network.

Social Network 1

Social Network 2

Social Network 3

Social Network 4

Social Network 5

You know what sucks? I have seen so many tumblr posts where they just post the one gif with his face crumpling at the words “because you’re a nerd”, as though the people who are posting don’t want to even consider what the scene was actually saying – you don’t get to act like an arrogant prick, whether you’re a jock or a nerd or a porn star, and get to keep the girl. You can’t blame someone for leaving you when you’ve been a dick, and when you don’t treat the other person with kindness and consideration.

And so, even with all the signs (Ted, Scrubs, Star Trek, The Big Bang Theory, New Girl, Sherlock, any number of other shows and movies) pointing in the right direction – hey, if you can just get up the guts to consider women as an equal part of not just society, but the world you inhabit, whether that’s geek world, pop culture world, corporate world or Disney world, you could have a more productive and romantically and sexually fulfilling life, and you’ll probably be less frustrated – geeky guys will complain about all the girls (read “whores” and “sluts”) in pop culture who distract from the awesomeness of male bonding.

Because the world of women, as mentioned previously is ventured into only for the sake of motherly comfort, emotional diarrhea that one would never admit to one’s male friends, and sex. There seems to be very little room for arguments about the relationship without accusations of “too sensitive” or “hyper-emotional” or “overly attached”, and there is no room for talking about anything that is the sacrosanct area of “man talk” – sports, pop culture (this is where the fake geek girl meme really gets to me), and quite awfully, politics and social situations.

It sucks because the geek guys were the ones I sort of rested my faith in mankind on…. since most other guys were very obviously dicks to begin with.

There are exceptions though – some guys in college, Wil Wheaton, the vlogbrothers, Charlie McDonnell probably….

Oh well.

Oh and embarrassing secret cause I took too long to finish writing this – I sort of really teared up in the metro yesterday because I reconnected with a friend over facebook. I found out in the metro because I have a 21st century phone now, which has email services. But yeah, I was all teary and shit. This is the downside to 21st century communication I guess.

– Billy

P.S. – I wanted to give you guys this, in honor of my finding it on the interwebs

It's Leonard Nimoy!! As a handsome human person who smiles and dances with his mouth near a woman's ear!! Gah!!
It’s Leonard Nimoy!! As a handsome human person who smiles and dances with his mouth near a woman’s ear!! Gah!!

Star Trek over Ship of Theseus. Sue me.

I’ve been putting in some extra work at college. This involves not being aware of certain assignments, and paying abysmal attention to others; while reading essays and watching documentaries on Nietzche, Camus and Sartre. Especially since I wrote that bit about Seinfeld and Louis C.K. I’ve been reading up on existentialism and absurdism. However, as can be seen from the title, I will not be talking about them. I will instead be talking about Star Trek and Woody Allen and other stuff like that. As the perceptive and intelligent denizens of the internet that you are, its still about philosophy and sex and love.

Interestingly, philo is derived from phile which means love (as in anglophile, bibliophile, pedophile, cinephile, only two of which define me) and sophy means knowledge, as anyone with a good memory of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code will tell you. The point being, philosophers are lovers. *Cue Porn Music* (Except Nietzche – he probably died a half virgin.

It would be ... fascinating to see this guy go down on someone's vagina. Or penis.
It would be … fascinating to see this guy go down on someone’s vagina. Or penis.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong. Seriously.) So falling in love even though you’re a smart person shouldn’t be that hard, right? Well, here goes.

I recently watched Ship of Theseus and liked it immensely. The first story is… not my cup of tea, though the cinematography is beautiful. It was too mundane yet melodramatic a context in which to explore the theme of what constitutes personhood. It gave me a sense of tiresome déjà vu. However, the rest of it was thoroughly stimulating. I had hoped that by making a philosophical movie they wouldn’t ignore what I consider to be a very important aspect of philosophy, and perhaps especially so of existentialism, in a manner of speaking – the importance of human connection and dependability; and they were good with that, for the most part.

But here’s my problem – I don’t like it when art is made solely for those who will understand it. I don’t like it when philosophy is… philosophized only for those who understand and care about it, especially in art. I’m not saying everyone who’s not me is a plebeian, I’m saying my mother fell asleep while watching it, and a lot of my friends got irritated and left.

I on the other hand, went to the Kiran Nadar museum (The Zones of Contact exhibition) recently and I felt a lot like my mother and my friends did in the movie. The arts students kept telling me that it was fine if I didn’t understand something, and it only mattered if I felt anything when I saw a piece and all that rot. But here’s the thing – some people take modern art appreciation courses, read up a lot about the artists, and clearly understood and felt more things than I did.And these are the people who are likely to feel encouraged to go to other museums with modern art installations. Call me a romantic but the reason I like movies more than any other art is because if it talks down to anyone, it’s usually talking down to everyone.

In a far more satisfying experience, I watched the 2009 Star Trek recently. And then I watched Into Darkness, because Spock Kirk Uhura Benedict Cumberbatch, followed closely by a re-watching of The Original Series.

I watched the Original Series for the first time a year or two ago. I had heard that Star Trek is more philosophical and complicated that Star Wars, and had prepared myself for getting bored beyond the deaths of relatives I never knew existed. I had forgotten that philosophy comes in many forms, and especially forgotten that it also came in the form of campy yet entertaining sci-fi. Did watching the original Doctor Who teach me nothing? Philosophy in Star Trek consisted of in your face evaluation of the human condition, set in a future that somehow did not have personal computers. And not in the shitty way that “human condition” makes it sound. My favorite part is Spock, everywhere. Because I think I have given enough proof of my unwillingness to consider feelings (whether mine or other’s) unless they result in something productive and useful; and especially if they result in something stupid and wasteful.

Fandom is a curious thing, and I’m not talking about run of the mill fans of actors or movies. Saying you’re a fan, an actual true to Satan fan, of something or someone doesn’t mean you form closed groups of people who are also fans and illogically and irrationally defend every single thing that the actor or the film or the franchise does. In the context of shows and movies, it doesn’t mean getting angry if someone doesn’t like it.

What it means is that you pay minute attention to detail while watching, your enthusiasm for it is entirely unmitigated, you catalogue practically everything you know about it (mentally or literally), and analyze the good and the bad, giving due consideration to every articulated opinion. And despite acknowledged failings, you still love the thing. Because you know every detail of it and the pile of good things in it is greater than the pile of bad things (watch Vincent and The Doctor to get that reference, n00bs), you will explain every single position, everything you like and dislike, and still come out being in love.

For instance, I have read every single one of the Sherlock Holmes stories, know practically every single opinion that characters in the series have of Sherlock, know every single way in which Holmes was pulling something out of his cultural stereotype bucket when he gave his deductions, and while I may not have watched every single TV series or movie based on the stories, I have watched a lot of them and I love Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman despite the fact that the latter makes me feel really old (because he was once a cute guy on a cute show that I watched once as a kid).

Did such a perfect love ever exist outside of the realm of the imaginary?

There are many themes and areas of human existence and the human condition that philosophy looks at, and I usually don’t give two shits. What I feel is a great disservice in any philosophical reading, is in not paying much importance to the presence and the importance of other individuals – the other person, the role model, the acquaintance, the people one doesn’t like, the friend.There may be some things that human beings undertake in utter solitude and some other things we do while participating in orgies, but by and large, we conduct it trying to impress and screw over each other in the most beautiful of defecatious ways. I made a new word.

So if philosophy is trying to understand the human condition, and is at all concerned with the human condition, isn’t conversation and lying and crying and fucking and kissing and holding hands and keeping a space between where your hand ends its wave trajectory and where someone else’s penis may happen to begin, all incredibly part of the business of knowing oneself? So how is that less meaningful? The most insight I have ever gotten into myself and other people is by watching Woody Allen movies, Ingmar Bergman’s comedies (do they qualify as comedies? I find them funny, but the things I find funny are often not funny or acceptable) and hearing Louis C.K. speak. Not all of them are hopeful or happy or based entirely on fart jokes, but they are all mostly about human interactions.

If I want, I can read up on what existentialism says about interconnectivity, or about surrealism, and get a deeper understanding of Stranger than Fiction or Amelie; but its equally possible for me to not read up on anything, enjoy the film and get some perspective on life because of it. In fact, I may feel like I want to know more because it was entertaining and beautiful to watch, and read up on it afterwards just for funsies.That is what art should be – just talking, comprehensibly. Like Before Sunrise. You don’t need to know anything in order to watch that movie. But you may still come out feeling like something awesome just happened to your life.

This, as opposed to feel as though I should read and know more so that it becomes entertaining and beautiful to watch. I don’t buy the nonsense of art for art’s sake. If it was for art’s sake, you’re ignoring the fact that everyone else is looking at it after you put it up on a wall precisely so everyone else may look at it. If it was art for art’s sake, you should have burnt up your work, you should have pissed off every person you met who may have helped or understood based on random crap, much like Poe. But nobody wants to be Poe. If you really wanted to be Poe, nobody would know you existed, as opposed to a thousand people in the intellectual world.

Just face it – your life is based more on other people no matter how much you want it to be completely yours. And your pearls of wisdom are going to be nuggets of crap that doesn’t matter to most of the people around you unless you explain yourself in a manner that makes a busy person want to take time out to listen. Anurag Kashyap – He’s good at that. So is Aamir Khan to a certain extent.

So I guess what I’m saying is, and this is the embarrassing confession in lieu of missing last week’s post – I keep trying to stop reading erotic Fanfiction, but it’s a lost cause. And not only do I read it, I write it. And may I add, from the reviews I have received, if ever I want a career in writing for Penthouse or Playboy (do they have an erotic literature section?) or Ellora’s Cave or something, it wouldn’t be a problem. At all.

That’s all, folks.

– Billy

P.S. – this is my phone wallpaper right now.

I don't give a dingleberry is this is photoshopped.
I don’t give a dingleberry if this is photoshopped.

God and The World According to Skeptic

I don’t think I have ever really talked about religion on this blog. Largely because once I do talk about religion, I’m afraid its not just the religious who believe me to be soul-less. You see, there is atheism, and then there is skepticism. I don’t know the exact definition of skepticism, and I have literally two and a half hours in which I can write and post this, I’m not about to google it.

What I believe in, is unfortunately nothing. I don’t believe in any abstract concept in the way in which other people believe. I realize this makes me sound like an automaton, and perhaps that would just be a good folder to put me in. But it’s a little more complicated, and in light of recent events, i.e. godman being a real fucking asshole and raping someone, perhaps the question of belief needs to be considered. As I said, it’s a little hard to encapsulate how far my disbelief carries, so bear with me as I try and explain what and why.

I read Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens as much as the next rabid atheist. Well, I don’t read them that much, but I have read two of each of their books and listened to them talk at lectures on youtube and shit. However, I don’t really prescribe to Dawkins’ need to point out that every person who follows a religion may need some lessons in science and the social effects of religion. I think most people are fundamentally not huge dicks and they have people they care about that they don’t want to have ravaged by anything, including religion. And most people are aware of pedophile priests, corrupt mullahs (I say corrupt because I have no idea what nasty thing mullahs are known for doing, though I’m sure there’s something), rapist gurus and so on and so forth. Nobody likes it when they realize someone of their faith used it to justify horrifying acts. To presume that just pointing to these awful incidents would make people question their faith is presumptuous. Having said that, Mr. Dawkins, I still want to meet you so I can fangirl. She says as though Dawkins reads her pathetic hack of a blog.

So what exactly does make someone still follow a religion despite these failings? Well, I’ve tried to ask a few people, but as of now, there haven’t really been any satisfactory answers. And now that I’m in art haven college, I doubt I’ll be meeting many believers. I’ll have to get in touch with some old friends, get drunk with them and proceed to ask questions. I don’t know if I want to put that much effort into anything. Definitely not right now.

But presumably, it has something to do with a sense of community, order and perhaps a connection with a world which people hope is better than this one. Now, whether or not that world involves virgins or another life or whores or endless champagne depends on the person who believes.

The only experience I have with actually believing in any god is related to this very after-life thing. I wanted there to be a heaven and a hell. The heaven would involve a room for myself, with clothes, nice walls, and internet connection, where sexually pleasing men would be sent in any time I wanted them. I didn’t like the idea that I would die and not find out what goes on in the world afterwards. The hell would involve a rape room for people like Hitler and people who had rape rooms on earth. Yes, my perceived heaven was mildly vengeful. The rub came when I had cause to examine why I believed in an almighty power. I realized that a vengeful heaven/hell is a silly reason to believe in anything that is not evident.

And since I deconstructed that methodically, I have systematically understood most other abstract concepts. The only one I’m not entirely sure of is the feeling that parents seem to have for their children. But the fact that many parents exist who are horrid to their children makes me think there is probably a practical reason for that as well.

So, is there such a thing as love? Well, yes, for those who want to see it that way. The way I see it, people are social animals and since self-awareness is our poisoned gift, we can’t all be friends with each other. We can’t all like each other because self awareness, our life experiences and our extremely developed brains give us a personality, which may or may not work well with other personalities. When you find people who have compatible personalities/ characters to yours, you tend to enjoy spending time with them. When you spend enough time with someone, you get used to them and start needing them and wanting them and liking them. And when you need and want and like them a LOT, they become important in your life and they become friends. This intense needing, wanting, liking combination is given the term ‘love’.

As for romantic love, sometimes you go through the above process with someone while simultaneously finding yourself wanting to fuck them. And if the other person wants to fuck you too, and you guys do fuck and find that fucking is really enjoyable with each other; your need/want/like for each other may intensify because you have shared a little bit more with each other. This may make you need and want and like them even more, to the extent that you may feel the need to make an official promise to each other that you will be in each others lives till you are both dead. Some people call this romantic love.

God? Well…. I guess since you don’t how the improperly named Big Bang started, or what the universe was made of before it, or exactly why the laws of physics are as they are, maybe a sentient being is responsible. But you see, that’s the problem – it’s a maybe, and more importantly, the sentient being is, to use a phrase from Neil DeGrasse Tyson, “the god of gaps”. A few hundred years ago, people didn’t know how the sun worked, so god was responsible. Once people figured the sun out, they didn’t know how the universe was expanding, so god became responsible for that. Once that was figured out, people couldn’t figure out the Big Bang…  Science is eventually going to find more and more answers (evolution, topography, physics, brain functions, neurology, anything) and the list of things you don’t know is going to change, which makes your god… a little less godly, and a little more your own creation.

I realize that this highly unromantic (?) and methodical (?) thought process is something only someone with some free time, access to the internet, and a rudimentary interest in physics and biology will be bothered with. I don’t expect everyone to do the same.

However, a healthy amount of skepticism and critical questioning of social “truths” should be part of what we teach children, and not just about gods and godmen, but about people in general. Would it really be that terrible if we taught children that their parents don’t always have it right, that if you think your parents shouldn’t be beating you with a belt or coming into your room at night, you should tell someone and not hide it? That if you start feeling things for someone of the same sex, it doesn’t mean you will go to hell or that your honor is lost or that you are not a man or a woman, and that you shouldn’t blindly believe someone if they say so? That if you don’t want to get married at any point of time, you have the right to defy anyone and everyone because its your life and your body? That if the faith you were taught and that you follow makes you feel bad about any part of your personality that is not actually hurting anyone, you have the right to ignore that aspect of your religion or even to leave it entirely? That if your parents tell you one day that someone is to be respected and revered, and that person turns out to be a shit of the lowest order, you should tell your parents, and if for some godforsaken reason, they don’t believe you, you should be questioning whether your parents deserve the privilege of being part of your life?

Or you know, we could have yearly surprise raids on every religious space/ cult, ban religion altogether, have less corrupt and more efficient law and order, have more sex education and less misogynistic and sexist officials/ political leaders and judges.

Although I don’t believe any of that is actually, realistically possible. I am a skeptic.

–          Billy

 

P.S. – I didn’t post the week before last because it was my birthday week and fuck you guys. No punishment.

 

Also, here’s some stuff for funsies.

 

Angel on top

 

I hate his face. In that I love it. And I don't promise to not use this gif again.
I hate his face. In that I love it. And I don’t promise to not use this gif again.
Hehe. Get it? Like Dick in a Box. It's a song by Justin Timberlake and Lonely Island. Plebians.
Hehe. Get it? Like Dick in a Box. It’s a song by Justin Timberlake and Lonely Island. Plebians.

 

 

 

Meeting the creative types and going crazy with Jerry Seinfeld and Louis C.K.

We’re doing this again. Listening to Coldplay and 90’s Bollywood, ignoring the presence of the Coke bottle that suddenly appeared in the fridge today despite being very sleepy indeed and being highly passive aggressive with self through the following conversation.

me: unnngggghhhh. *type type… type* unnnngggggggghhhhhhhh.

ME: You could go to sleep you know. You could find time to write the blog tomorrow.

me: I have to start. It’s in my head. Waiting to be put down. What if it’s gone by morning?

ME: Relax. What’s the worst that could happen? You could forget to write tomorrow… find a reason to not write on Saturday, get busy with classes next week, and before you know it, this is an ex-blog, bereft of life, deceased and gone up to meet its maker in the Great Sky of Internet Light Entertainment. That’s all. Shhhh child, go to sleep. There, there.

me: UNNNNNNGGGGGGGHHHHHHH. *type type*

 

Which is my way of saying, I’m sleepy, unsure of myself and may not pay attention to things like speling, syntax or the grammar. That’s right, this is a giant flaming finger at your expectations.

 

So I met my batch-mates. As I predicted, I’m not faring well in the comfortable socializing department. I’m making friendly acquaintances but I’m ashamed to admit that as soon as I find myself in a slight lull in conversation/ comfort I give in to my instinct to say sayonara. It may have a lot to do with the fact that I’m less eager to please than I was the last time I had to socialize with a giant group of people. I was seventeen then. And much like the magazine, I was fluffy, optimistic and full of body image issues and self-doubt. Now I’m twenty two, and much like Frodo later in the book, I’m short, damaged, corrupted and burdened with the one ring of power and a glorious purpose. That last bit was Loki, but you get my gist. Insert analogy between one ring/ glorious purpose and what little remains of body image issues and self-doubt here.

Seriously though, u gaiiiz, I find the outside world very strange. The only people I knew from the outside world two months ago were my parents, my cousin (they’re old enough to have dealt with a plentitude of crap, and have therefore acquired a hard edge), my sister (who is quite dark in her own way, not to mention a social worker/ researcher and therefore a bit less fluffy in her mind), and Delhi N, who I always mentally put in a bubble separate from the rest of the world. And she’s no bag of happiness herself.

And then there’s the new college. First of all, they all have a lot more experience in “the real world” than I do. Most of them have held a job for at least a year. Most of them appear more confident than I am in their ability to do their thang, and their thang involves making of artwork and conceptualizing stuff I’m not sure I understand completely, and awfully enough, in the usual artsy-fartsy way, I’m not sure I’m supposed to.

But here’s the weird thing. They’re…. not the darkest people I’ve met. They don’t do politically incorrect jokes. They don’t have immediate, instinctive, outspoken and often misconstrued opinions about the people they meet. I’m sure they have opinions about everyone including me, but they seem to keep it to themselves for the most part. They all seem…. Lighter, fluffier, than the fare I’m used to. I would know how to deal with opinionated, rude people, because honestly I’m a bit of one myself. I don’t know how to deal with social niceties and positive conversations and what is clearly a silent, persistent, and possibly non-judgmental sizing up of everyone around on some hitherto unknown-to-me meter or art knowledge/ ability-meter.

I’d know how to deal if it was judgmental. Open judgment is easy to deal with – you examine if there is veracity to it; if there is you decide whether it is a problem that merits attempts to change on your part; if yes, you change; if no, then fuck what people think. I’m just not good with meeting new people.

Especially when they’re so much… happier? Very few of them express even a mild cynicism about what their lives would amount to, or what the course in college would mean. Even fewer find dark humor funny. It’s not naïveté; as I said, they’ve clearly seen more of the world than I have. They just seem to have so much faith in the world. As though they’ve never met some of the people you meet in law schools and lawyer’s chambers and courtrooms, let alone spent five years making their concerns part of your problems, even if its in an entirely abstract manner. As though they haven’t had to deal with administrative bureaucracy, tough decisions about what their position in the world is…. as though their whole lives and every decision they ever made has never been questioned and rebuked by people. As if they’ve not questioned it themselves and they never intend to question it.

Wow. I sound chirpy.

There’s the rub, though – I’ve always thought that you need to be a little mad in order to write or create properly. You need to have something unhinged that helps you see what others don’t, before you can put it on a canvas, or build it in a museum, or write it on a word document. Like Van Gogh, or Poe, or dare I say it, Hemingway?

Side note – a good song for such thoughts is the following. it came up randomly on my playlist. I really like Jones Street Station, and not just because Danny Pudi is fucking adorable.

 

I especially believe the must-be-slightly-mad-to-be-creative hypothesis to be true because I have noted that though others may have differing opinions, I always think of the stuff I have written when I’m unhappy with my situation in life to be some of my best works. They’re funnier, snappier, and they have something to say that I would personally like to read. For anyone who hasn’t worked it out yet because of some sort of mental deficiency, I intend to write stuff in a humorous fashion. And as I pointed out to a fellow pop culture enthusiast as we left college for the last time, all the good comedians came up with their best stuff when they were unhappiest in life.

Seinfeld wrote/ created Seinfeld before he met his wife. That show is one of the most hilarious things that happened on planet earth, but if you ever stop to think about it, you realize it could not have been written by someone who is entirely psychologically healthy. Seinfeld in fact has said that his wife saved his life. Sadly, we can all agree that before his life was saved, and during his presumably unhealthy phase of dating teenagers and general nihilism, he created his best work, and nothing has ever been quite as good since his life got saved. What a waste.

Louis C.K. is the one man on earth who I would marry and be faithful to for the rest of my life. I don’t care if he’s actually a humongous metaphorical dick in real life; I’d still suck his probably normal sized dick for the rest of his life. One of the most erotic dreams I have ever had involves me continuously making out with Will Ferrell (I had just watched Stranger Than Fiction) who somehow morphs into Louis C.K. (In the dream I’m really happy about this miracle, as I would be in life) who proceeds to grow grotesquely old even as I make out with him. And I do mean grotequesly. His face gets puffier and at the same time wrinkly like a ninety-year-old’s. He gets fat(ter) all over, and his stomach starts peeking out of his t-shirt because oddly enough, his t-shirt is not growing with him. Much like the honeybadger, I don’t care and I continue to swap oral fluids with him, while also swooning at times.

The stuff of the most potent fantasies.
The stuff of the most potent fantasies.

The reason I would do this for Louis C.K. is because I love him. Also, he is the funniest person I have ever seen do stand up. Also, his show is the most excellent of all U.S. TV shows I watch. I mean, look at this-

 

And I have had a thing for red hair ever since Rose from Titanic.

And yet, what you see before you is the result of years of stand-up. This man has been peaking for the last few years. Also, he has been divorced for the past few years. Before this, he was married, with children. He had tried to find happiness and had sort of succeeded. It took a giant steamy wet piece of turd on his personal life (if one chooses to look at divorce in such negative terms, which most people do) for him to acquire that little something extra so he could achieve the potential you can see gleaming through his work before the divorce. I would marry him despite this, make no mistake. But I would be willing to be his depraved live-in mistress just to save his craft. I went there, motherfuckers.

As for myself, I always wanted to be slightly mad. Of course as many of my faithful readers know, I did acquire a certain madness (long bout of depressive behavior, suicidal thoughts… you know, the usual) for a while and it took a lot of effort and work to be rid of it. What sanity I do have, I hold dear. Which is a conundrum, I know, but I try and make it work. But I do know I can’t make do without the dark side; much like Captain Kirk from the original series.

Maybe my batch-mates do have dark sides that they keep much better hidden than I do mine? Yes. Let’s go with that. I’m not the only depraved one full of blind confidence and self loathing. Everyone’s like me, they just hide it better. Yes. That’s the one. Boom.

–          Billy

 

P.S. – though I’m not much for self help myself, this really captures why I love Louis. http://bridefied.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/daring-greatly-exposing-vulnerabilities-with-louis-ck/

 

Why I’m elitist and against all men in all of earth.

I know I didn’t post last week. There was a really good reason. I can’t tell you about it, but it was a legit reason for once. And once that reason was over on Friday I spent the rest of that day and Saturday curled up in my bed in the fetal position, looking for something on the internet that would distract me from desperation and fear and the awful in-between-ness of life right now. I also ate hot dogs and momos.

Embarrassing secret in lieu of said non-posting – Sometimes I look down at my boobs and stare at them for a while, simultaneously thankful, exultant and critical. I have been assured that this fascination with having boobs is not entirely abnormal. Either way, yes, I look at them and hold them a bit and wonder if I could do a Molly Ringwald lipstick trick from The Breakfast Club (I can! I just checked. With the right support, I can! Ha!). None of this is sexual. It’s just another version of nail biting, finger tapping, ear-rubbing, hair twirling. Just something you fiddle with while doing something else.

Over the last few months, I have witnessed my friends go through a lot of gender/ sex based trouble, from being ogled at unwillingly by regional news cameras to learning about the number of ways in which we put ourselves down in the workplace. What really made things awful was when a friend had to learn how to deal with stalker behavior in the workplace.

Before I get this going I want to set down the usual caveats – I do consider myself a feminist by which I mean I don’t think there’s anything wrong or right about women waxing, not waxing, crying, not crying, having sex, not having sex, charming snakes, not charming snakes, falling in love, not falling in love, not having babies, not having babies… That last is because

h
Why would anyone want this coming out of them?

Coming back on point, being the clearly militant feminist that I am, my views on this subject may be not very balanced and may in fact be highly vagina leaning.

Also, I haven’t watched Raanjhana despite Abhay Deol’s presence, so this is NOT a review. I’ll merely be talking about a certain disturbing trend in Indian cinema that I have alluded to in the past – “Love” being continuously represented as creepy with just a hint of completely cuckoo stalker behavior. And yes, I have read Shobhaa De’s views on the film, as well as the reply from the director, as well as commentary on said reply. Allow me to get a word in edgewise despite having no authority whatsoever other than a lifelong affair with movies and having a uterus.

Despite all my clever book learning and rampant elitism and intellectualism and other isms of the same nature I, like many other ism fetishists, automatically accepted what my childhood told me was irresistible – the guy in the movie who is strong and insistent and determined and grabs hold of the girl and plants one on her and convinces her that he deserves her and that she should be with him and give him a daily taint licking. 90’s Bollywood left no doubt in our minds – the thrill is in the chase. You cannot possibly do anything less than declare everlasting love or crude lust in the process of wooing a girl. And that’s fine. It’s a movie trope and definitely a more problematic one than most gender-wise, but fucked up machismo oozed out of practically everything Bollywood, so whatever.

What becomes tedious however, is the inevitability of success in all these movies. Bollywood would have you believe that this behavior will actually be appealing to a normal woman. That the girl, who angrily rejects the guy who man-handled her under the pretext of synchronized dancing while being surrounded by at least ten other men, actually turns her back to him and smiles “secretively” at the oh-so-charming antics of her secret love. That she actually likes being followed home (For lack of anything typically Bollywood popping into mind – Sarfarosh) and taken pictures of without her knowledge (Kaho Na Pyaar Hai) and basically being eye raped every time she encounters the guy (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Main Hoon Na, ). And yes, it is imagined visual rape as soon as you’re obvious enough to make her aware of your constant ogling, angelic background choir and imaginary violin playing notwithstanding.

And this chain of not-real-events replicate themselves in cyber space pretty well. Believe me, I have nothing but love for the www. It gives me books, movies, music, games… without it I would be forced to watch regularly scheduled television for entertainment. Oh and porn; I wouldn’t have porn without it. The internet is a revolutionary platform for the socially ill-practiced – your shy people, you introverts, your asocials, your high functioning sociopaths.

Ha! Sherlock!

All of us thrive on the internet.

On the other hand, introverted and shy roadside Romeos now have a platform through which they can virtually cat-call/ manhandle/ make things uncomfortable for a girl by sending messages such as “rain drops r falling on my brain and my whole heart is in love with uuuu!!!” or “sexy picture” or “I am always with u, u don’t know me” or “I called ur mobile from in ur home after I broke its lock. My love is 4ever.” Note the bad grammar – it will become relevant soon enough.

At least unlike amateur creepy photo-stalking or torso grabbing while dancing, Raanjhana’s creepy behavior seems to largely be based on wrist cutting and other forms of emotional blackmail. The former by the way, wouldn’t even kill you unless you keep the cut wrist submerged in water for at least a few hours as you wait for a slow death to come along (I know because I listened in 10th grade science and read a few detective novels). However, this does not make the “you’ll eventually get the girl to fall for you after years, nay LIFETIMES of creepery” lesson less irritating.

At the risk of sounding like I’m facetiously pacifying a simmering crowd, as far as considerations of different cultural backgrounds and socio-economic factors are concerned, I’m never one to dismiss them. I spent most of my last semester in college debating in in its favor and writing papers about it. If you hit on a girl in a club in India, she will most likely be messaging ten people her location and your description at that moment, because she’s never had a good experience with being hit on by a stranger. In other countries, nobody’d give a rat’s ass. If you talk to a guy in a mildly familiar way in some/ most small towns and villages, there will likely be an assumption that you’re interested in them. In Delhi, it probably means that she may or may not be interested but you’re going to ask her to ride on your Freudian Bullet motorbike repeatedly. In law school it means she has no feelings for you and she’d like to stop talking to you soon.

The problem with the real world, especially the real urban world, is that when boy from who cares meets girl from city, feces goes down, motherlovers. I’m not saying all guys from who cares indiscriminately fall in love and become creepy. But I am saying that under most circumstances, largely due to the kind of turdy idea of “romance” said boy is brainwashed with largely because of movies (because let’s face it, Indian parents are unlikely to talk to their children about love and/ or feelings) and other boys who watch movies, as soon as boy has a crush it becomes something intense that illicits the kind of awful poetry that Elizabeth Bennet was talking about – it’ll drive affection away like my dog drives away rats. And as soon as something intense is recognized, the boy goes on to woo the girl in ways that all sources of romantic information (movies and perhaps songs) have shown to yield positive results – hack her social networks, stalk her where you can, write aforementioned poetry (for lack of a better word), tell her about all of the above, ask her out, and when she says no, either be disproportionately disappointed or stark raving mad, bad mouth her for “leading you on”, and if you start having too many feelings, hope to exorcise her ghost by sprinkling/throwing acid on her face.

I understand that its not entirely one person’s fault that they were brought up in a culture where rejection by a girl meant gun shots (Punjab and Haryana, as I pointed out to a friend who didn’t see the problem with Rose’s fiancé angrily shooting at her and Jack in Titanic) and/or acid before one could achieve closure. It’s learned behavior, and it doesn’t mean you’re a sick individual. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s making the long suffering recipient of your badly written poetry, your e-cards, your eye-rape, your bullets and your leftover household acid, VERY uncomfortable.

Sometimes your behavior maker her too angry – about someone online stalking her and violating her privacy – to actually go about her normal life without seething; sometimes she’s uncomfortable and frankly a little scared of what your invasion of her personal space means for what little freedom she has been afforded by an already unsafe city; sometimes she’s uncomfortable and upset because even though she tried to tell her boss about how she was feeling, they told her you were from a small town and so she should probably excuse your creepiness as the behavior of a “die-hard romantic” and try to be kind and perhaps not lead you on in any way; sometimes she doesn’t like being made responsible for your feelings, sexual or otherwise; sometimes she’s uncomfortable because she didn’t want to die at the hands of an asshole with a gun; and sometimes she feels bad because she looks at the mirror and can’t see a recognizable human face anymore.

Of course, some of these uncomfortable feelings are worse than others. However, as a member of a functioning society, boy from who cares, don’t you think you should try not to make her work life or her social life or her life in general uncomfortable in any way, just because you felt something? I’m sure you have made some male friends who were born and brought up in the same culture as her. Ask them where you went wrong. And perhaps ask your employer to tell you how you can act so as to not make the workplace an uncooperative space for everyone.

And don’t give me your claptrap about small town, “pure”, “unconditional”, “unfiltered” emotions versus the “polished”, “hard headed”, “emotionless” mentality of the Big City. I don’t see people raising such a fuss in favor of small towns when a girl feels those “pure”, “unfiltered” emotions for a boy of a different caste, or when a girl tries to passionately run away with a guy in lieu of those “pure”, “unconditional” feelings, regardless of her being from a city or village. This is not about small towns being better than cities for the soul. It’s about men believing they have the right to jizz their feelings all over women, who should be so grateful for said feelings that lack of reciprocity is an insult worthy of anger or emotional blackmail or violence.

As for films, there are some instances of non-creepy devotion and/or wooing that can be an example for most young men – Jab We Met is one. He likes her but at no point does he make that her problem and he doesn’t creep her out, or emotionally blackmail at any point. Oddly enough, Faizal did a perfectly spiffing job as well in Gangs of Wasseypur, though I suspect that’s largely because that girl would have very likely bitch-smacked him all the way to the coal mines had he tried to make her uncomfortable. Wake Up Sid is another. Oh well, I guess these are largely based in urban settings.

Wait, no. There are examples in almost all 90’s cinema as well as current Bollywood, city-based or village-based, that accurately depict how most normal women would react when they’re creepily hit on by men they don’t like – it’s the villain. The villains in most Bollywood films at some point or the other creep on the heroines in highly discomforting ways. Usually, the hero steps in to save the day, and puts the villain in his place, but that’s not the point. New Informational Ad:-

“You there. Yes you, the man who regardless of where you were born and brought up, is confused by the myriad of ways in which girls will not like your moves, literal or figurative, or worse, think of you as crazy, out of balance murderer. You know asking for permission for every little thing doesn’t work. But when you send her a mail detailing the dream you had of watching her sleep and waking up to masturbate about it, she gets a friend to call you up and threaten to feed you to rats. Don’t worry. We have a revolutionary system that helps you navigate these tricky waters, and it requires no additional learning apart from the same sources you learned your current creepery from and mistook it for charm.

Next time you feel those intense feelings for a girl, and you start thinking of all the ways in which your favorite heroes from the movies got their girl, STOP. Now, think of that same movie and remember when the villain troubled the girl, and how bad she felt? Now every time you want to make the girl fall for you, or hack her social networks, or write poetry about her and send it to her two weeks after having first met her, don’t imagine yourself as the hero. Imagine yourself as the villain, and think of her friend who calls you to inform you about how and when you’ll die and where your body parts will be hidden as the hero.

You can talk to her and even mildly flirt with her, but as soon as she gives the slightest indication that she doesn’t want to hear it, you are no longer the hero. But you can avoid being the villain, and instead be some kind of side character. Telling her she’s a bitch for “leading you on” or “friend-zoning” you, or pursuing her even further, or cornering her and following her in further attempts to make her fall in love with you, makes you the villain. So does throwing acid at her, raping her or murdering her or anyone she cares about, but that should be obvious. Your villainy would give her the divine right, acquired as just compensation for eons of female suffering at the hands of assholes, to tell you to fuck off, and then to cut off your penis and make you give it a blowjob, in that order.”

Yes, I know. How very elitist and pedantic and feminist of me.

Too sleepy now.

Bye fuckers.

–          Billy

P.S. – I know this theme is not as colorful as the previous one, but at least you don’t have to strain your eyes in order to read it.

The First Porno in a Young Girl’s Life and other such concerns.

I can’t think of anything to write about properly despite having met friends and batchmates this week and having plans to meet friends and batchmates again. So maybe we’ll strike a chord with this – Let’s talk about Sex and Love (baby). If they have anything to do with the other, if they matter (Spoilers: Hells Yeah, at least for the sex), if you need one for the other, if you can really love objects, that sort of thing.

Please know, my primary objective here is to educate and inform yall about the various ways in which you can be completely unsafe with your body and emotions, and hence live life to the fullest. For those who want to be wimps, there is this amazingly awesome channel called Sexplanations on YouTube. Hank Green created, of course. It’s hosted, for lack of a better word, by this woman called Lindsey Doe (I know. Wickedly close to Lindsay Dole from The Practice. Oh, Law School days, how you come to mock me with your emotional link to certain TV shows) who’s a professional sexologist and really good at explaining some shit. I recommend it to everyone, especially guys who don’t have a clue (basically, most men). Also, there’s Laci Green.

ME: Watch it. You’re overusing brackets again.

me: Right you are (mumbles under breath) you pompous twit. [I’m watching a lot of British stuff these days. Is it obvious, darlings?]

Let’s begin then, shall we?

 

For any young’uns out there, especially those who read and watch TV and shit, it’s important to remember that your imagination and sex will always have a BDSM relationship, with sex usually telling your imagination to lie there with its twee all swollen while the sex drinks some coffee. Sometimes there’s a role reversal and your imagination will tell sex to try maple syrup, and sex will not like it at all.

ME: This is uselessly gratuitous.

me: it sells.

The first time I imagined sex, it was pretty much the exact scene from the very first Mills and Boon I read. It was called Willing to Wed, written by Cathy Williams. The guy was Irish, rich and called James Kellern. I have often postulated that my love for Irishmen may originate from thence (incorrect grammar?). The girl was called Ellie, short for Elliot. It was my first introduction to an actual sex scene. Before that, I had thought the lifeboat scene from Kane and Abel was the height of pornographic/ adult literature. Regardless, I read that book till it was literally ragged. Back then I used to have a habit of tearing off the sides and corners of pages in books and chewing them up to form spitballs that I’d very rarely spit (now I only do this with notebooks and old newspapers). The sex scene pages from Willing to Wed were the most torn off corners of any of the books I ever read or have read since then. It went missing during one of the many moves my family made during my adolescence. Perhaps my parents noticed the book, its contents and its condition, and decided that it had to be “taken care of” post haste. Either way, I have looked for the book far and wide. There are some sites that speak of its existence, but none that allow me access to it without paying money.

For those who know me now, you must probably imagine some seriously weird shit, ranging from angry slapping and other forms of abuse to absurd experimentation with sexual supplements. Let it be a lesson to one and all who are afraid they’re sexually boring at the beginning of their sexual awakenings (how many times can I use the word “sexual” before some sort of natural internet age-check comes along for viewers?), worry not, because you’ll get there if my example is anything to go by. The book contained the most ‘90’s Mills and Boon-y sex you could imagine. This was the stage of Mills and Boone after they started actually describing sex, and before they knew the meaning of a sexually aware and possibly promiscuous woman, not that they know too much about it now, but it’s a wee bit better. The basic story was the same – man and woman meet, initially don’t take to each other but are also clearly attracted. They eventually give in to their mutual lust only to discover over time, and to the insistence of a beautifully (problematic, I know) possessive/ psychotic guy, that they are actually in love. Then they get married, at which point the book ends.

When I first imagined it, not only was the sex exactly as described in that book, it ended with me getting together with the guy. Of course, my commitment issues were pretty apparent even at the age of twelve in that I always thought of life after marrying James Kellern and would always end up thinking it was boring and desperately trying to find ways to spice it up. When I learnt how to use the internet properly many years later, I spent a lot of time on sites which gave Cosmopolitan-esque advice on how to make my imagined marriage less dull. But the important bit here, lest we lose sight of it, is that I did imagine marriage, and I could think of only the most basic sort of sex – quite a bit of boob play, some cunnilingus, missionary style, break, shower scene, boob play, against the wall sex. There wasn’t even any blow job as far as I can recall, though my memory may be unprecedentedly wrong in this instant.

All of the initial fantasizing based on the sex-and-love-go-together story has given me some pause in the past. I’ve often wondered if at some point in the midst of my utterly colorless teenage love/ sex life I purposely chose to forsake one for the other. That perhaps all the determined sluttishness and lack of concern for my feelings and those of the people with whom I badoinkadoink is some sort of defense mechanism. That would definitely fulfill the premise of a love story better – “I’m not really a slut, I just need someone to really love and understand me, and I’d give up this life of endless orgasms and weirdly satisfying fellatio in a heartbeat.”

I know a lot of people think so, including people who care about me. Almost everyone wants to see everyone they care about settle down, not really because of convention, at least not among us Ivy League-esque young adults, but because we all accept and know at some age that everyone will get married, and everyone will need someone with them in order to cope with the fact that everyone else got married. So I guess it’s natural that people should hope/ maliciously plan for me to one day meet a guy I fall terribly in love with and for whom I feel all the feelings which I have been making faces at and not really understanding and making fun of for all these years.

My school friends, knowing my tendencies, predicted quite incorrectly as it turns out, that I’d be the first one to get married. They longed for that day. The one I actively keep in touch with still waits patiently for lightning to strike me. I recently told her about a ridiculous offer made to me (that to be fair, I considered for half a second while drunk), which she chose to interpret as the offerer (offeror?) being in love with me, but I pointed out was said person being an idiot. She eventually came to see my point. I swear I saw hope dying in her eyes. It was fun.

My college friends used to tell me for the first two or three years they knew me that I’d be the first one to get married. I believe their hopes are also very close to being crushed. Of course after said two or three years they realized that perhaps I wasn’t going to be the lead-role in a romantic comedy. Mine was to be a tragi-comedy where the last scene is probably me dying of an orgasm at the hands of my gigolo at age ninety (fingers crossed).

There have been moments where I myself have wondered if they’re right. The idea never stuck. I can imagine the perfect guy and falling in love with him and I can imagine getting bored and wanting to leave and possibly never getting the guts to do so. Of course I don’t want to imagine meeting the perfect guy and falling in love and being left. Which of course would lead to the inevitable question – do I not care for marriage purely because I’m afraid? That’s never a good reason to do or not do anything.

But what finally settled it was poetically, what started it as well – pornographic literature. I found Ellora’s Cave – a publishing company for erotic literature. And this literature is not really Mills and Boon material. Yes, people get married and all that but this is the porn with orgies and role-play and anal and BDSM and bondage and stops just short of excreta (thank god for that – that would be the point where I use my safe word), not Mills and Boon. I was already introduced to the idea of a healthy yet intense BDSM lifestyle because of Secretary (Before watching that movie I thought James Spader was hottest as Alan Shore. Fuck no.) but that was the first time I actually encountered the graphic sex part of the life. It occurred to me then that while I may not be into orgies or anal or BDSM or the rest of it despite liking the porn, I was definitely not into settling for one person for any considerable length of time.

Maybe I’d be categorized as “oversexed” by most people, and definitely as “HUGE twat of a slut” by others and “always asking for it” by some utter shits. To be fair, what with the rumors of silent judgment surrounding my various exploits (not judgment for the lives they mess up, because I do deserve to be judged for that to some extent, no doubt, but for the exploit itself) I have often been a bit disappointed with myself. Not really because I felt bad for things I did but because I felt like I should ideally feel a bit bad.

Of course those were the days before I just stopped giving a fuck. I suspect that day came when I realized that a lot of people read my blog and were weirdly aware of my sex life. There comes a point when some things about oneself has to be accepted. I’m very far from confident and self-actualized in a lot of departments but I can honestly say that’s not the case when it comes to accepting myself as the sexual person I am. I used to pray for the day that I was certain about any one thing in my life, be it career or love or marriage or anything. I guess its only fair to karma-doesn’t-exist that it had to be sex and sexuality for me.

And what, dear slightly disturbed reader, can you take away from this? Certainly not that you should disregard any inclination you have to be romantic or to not be romantic. Simply to be a bit open to the idea that you may or may not be a total sap or an unforgiving slut, and to figure it out independent of what the haters think about that time you made out with a man twice your age. I may be very certain about a lot of things, but I’m still open to the idea that one day perhaps I’ll go mad and fall in love with someone and it will last long enough for me to settle down. At least I think I am. After all, I still hope that one day I’ll find my way back to that precious Mills and Boon that opened up a magical world for me.

–          Billy

 

P.S. – Seriously, if anyone runs into that book, please buy it for me. Old Mills and Boons cost less than a hundred bucks. Just buy it and I’ll pay you if you want. Willing to Wed by Cathy Williams. I’m really nostalgic about this. It’s not a joke.

 

Also, here’s some fun gifs. If it’s not obvious, I didn’t make any of them and they’re all stolen If you want to find them, join tumblr and you eventually will.

 

This is why we love Rory Gilmore.
This is why we love Rory Gilmore.

 

 

Graceful.
Graceful.

 

This is by Shantidraws on tumblr. I want it on a T-shirt one day.
This is by Shantidraws on tumblr. I want it on a T-shirt one day.